Tuesday, May 27, 2008

National Treasures in Japan Country

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the government of Japan designates the most famous of the nation's cultural properties as National Treasures (国宝: kokuhō). Examples of the types of works that receive this designation are

* Buildings such as castles, temples, shrines
* Paintings, scrolls, sutras, and works of calligraphy
* Statues in stone, bronze, wood, lacquer or other materials
* Crafts, such as pottery, lacquer ware, carvings, metals, netsuke, swords and textiles
* Archeological and historical artifacts, including burial objects, documents, and letters
* People, called "Living National Treasures (人間国宝: ningen kokuhō)"

Many of Japan's national treasures are in museums such as the national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. The prefectural and city governments also operate public museums, and these and private museums also house national treasures. Many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, castles and similar installations also open their buildings and grounds to the public, and some have museums as well. The Imperial Household of Japan holds many national treasures. Kyoto boasts about one in five national treasures.

Living National Treasure is an informal designation for a person whom the government has recognized as exemplary in carrying on Japanese traditions. Performing artists in genres including noh, bunraku, and kabuki, and artists and artisans in traditional crafts, have received this distinction.

Source: Wikipedia.com

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